Healthcare reform in the US is still a hotly debated topic, even after a long awaited ruling by the Supreme Court was handed down on Thursday. Here are details of the court’s decision, and how businesses in particular could be affected.
Supreme Court Decision
What the ruling says. It’s a decision that stunned some pundits and will undoubtedly send ripples throughout the business community. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that Congress acted within its rights to require most Americans to carry health insurance. The law also carries requirements for businesses regarding healthcare for employees. Boston Herald
What it means. What the decision means to you depends greatly upon the size of the business you operate. For example, if you own and operate a one person business, the impact will be much the same as it is for an individual. If you have more than 50 employees on the other hand, the impact on your business could be quite different, depending upon whether or not you currently provide healthcare coverage for workers. The Wall Street Journal
Reactions & Reflection
A mixed bag. The Supreme Court decision will likely mean higher costs for small businesses, especially some that may not currently offer healthcare coverage for employees. But the reaction among small business owners and groups has been a bit more varied, with some concerned the decision represents a terrible blow to entrepreneurship while others believe it will bring down costs. The Washington Post
A moment of clarity. Some small business owners are less than happy with the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare and requirements that they must now supply coverage or be hit with a fine. But economists argue the ruling does provide one benefit to business owners: the clarity to finally know how to plan for the future. Los Angeles Times
Winners and losers. As the 80’s rock band Journey once sang, “Some will win, some will loose, some are born to sing the blues.” In the same way, some businesses will be winners and others will be losers with the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare. Businesses in the healthcare industry, for example, will in many cases be doing better. However, some businesses that don’t currently provide healthcare are in for a big cost increase. ABC News
Benefits vs. costs. Another way to look at the Supreme Court ruling is to think of it in terms of benefits and costs for all businesses. For example, some argue the insurance requirement will have the overall impact of lowering costs as the pool of healthy people expands. On the other hand some businesses will pay more for mandated care. Entrepreneur
Cost controls. One major question that remains to be answered is what the Supreme Court ruling will do to healthcare costs. Of course by now, most business owners understand the existing legislation would force some companies to spend more. But will the requirement cause overall healthcare costs to rise or fall? Bloomberg Businessweek
Doom and gloom. Will the US supreme court ruling on healthcare reform really destroy businesses? The National Federation of Independent Businesses predicts the legislation, if left in tact, would cause businesses closures and job loss. But not everyone has the same dark predictions. CBS Chicago
Questions unanswered. But while many experts insist the ruling resolved the issue of healthcare for businesses, some say the decision leaves questions unanswered. These critics believe many businesses may simply hold off on hiring until after the US presidential election, since one candidate vows to get rid of the law if elected. CNBC
A new business model. Elsewhere, like in the UK, healthcare costs have lead to new business models, including outsourced care. Here one such insurance product is reviewed. Those selling the package claim to cut costs by as much as 50 percent over other programs by providing access to a network of international hospitals. IFAonline
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